Seth A. Stambaugh, M.Ed.
Owner and Principal Tutor, All K-8 Subjects Expert, Writing Expert
Seth A. Stambaugh grew up in Placitas, New Mexico with his parents, Linda and Jeff, his older sister, Melanie, and his twin brother, Sean. He always possessed a deep ability to concentrate, which aided him in his creative and educational endeavors. During his childhood, Seth attended both Montessori and traditional elementary schools before matriculating at Albuquerque Academy in 1998 for middle and high school. During his time there, he discovered that his passion for education had a deeper root than in simply learning; it extended to helping others learn as well.
In seventh grade, Seth began volunteering as a teacher’s assistant at local elementary schools. In high school, he tutored students who were inmates at the Camino Nuevo Youth Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. During his senior year, he chose to complete his “Senior Project” by becoming an intern teacher’s assistant at Cottonwood Montessori in Corrales, New Mexico.
After graduating from the Academy with a cumulative 4.24 GPA in 2005, Seth decided to move to Portland, Oregon, to continue his educational pursuits at Lewis and Clark College. He studied English and Sociology before pursuing a graduate degree in education at Lewis and Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. He received his Master’s Degree in Education (M.Ed.) with a 4.0 GPA and returned to New Mexico. Continuing his education, he enrolled in Montessori Elementary Teacher training at The Montessori Education Center of the Rockies in Boulder, Colorado, receiving his Montessori Teaching Certification from the American Montessori Society. He gained experience working in both public and private schools as a state certified teacher while also tutoring students one-on-one in his spare time.
After ten years working as a school teacher, Seth decided to create Piñon Tutoring. He believes one-on-one tutoring is the most effective way for students to gain knowledge, hone critical thinking skills, identify core values, and develop integrity. He embraces the idea that learning is not just about developing competence in subject areas, but also about developing confidence, life skills, and identity.
In his free time, Seth enjoys working on home projects, cooking, writing, and spending time with his dog and two cats.
Lisa Brown, B.S. Mathematics
Contract Tutor, Math Expert
Lisa Brown was born in Ohio and grew up in Northern California. As young parents, she and her husband moved to New Mexico where they have raised their children and spent much of their adult lives. Lisa graduated summa cum laude from University of New Mexico, earning a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with a minor in English.
Lisa spent twenty years successfully homeschooling her three children who have all graduated college and are now grown adults living their best lives. She taught high school geometry and algebra II in the private school setting, and she has tutored mathematics at all levels, kindergarten through calculus. Lisa views mathematics as a language to share.
Lisa strongly believes that a child’s learning and development are fueled through confidence; in fact, she feels that learning and confidence are mutually dependent on one another. Therefore, she will make every attempt to foster a determination and fortitude in the children she works with. She will help them discover their strengths and build off of them. Lisa’s preparation, thoughtful strategies, and willingness to adapt in the moment have helped her reach students in a nurturing, rewarding way.
In her spare time, Lisa enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, family, and friends. She is an avid bicyclist and often hikes with her white German Shepherd Scout.
Nykki Brown, B.S. Early Childhood Multicultural Ed.
Contract Tutor, All Pre-K-3rd Subjects Expert
Nykki Brown was born and raised in Gallup, New Mexico, growing up with her parents, Wandi and Pete, and two sisters, Tara and Sasha. She had the privilege of growing up with parents who instilled in her the value of education and ideas of hard work grounded in her Navajo people’s philosophy that acquiring knowledge, the process of learning, is sacred.
Nykki began her educational journey at Haskell Indian Nations University where she studied social work, and then continued at the University of New Mexico where she studied Early Childhood Multicultural Education and Family Child Studies. Her goal was to help others in the community in some way. However, after substituting in various classrooms and becoming an educational assistant in a PreK classroom, she knew she had found her calling: teaching in early childhood education. Her presence in the PreK classroom was her first step at making an impact on education by setting young children up for success. Her credentials and license are in early childhood multicultural education from birth to third grade.
Having taught for Gallup McKinley County Schools, the Santo Domingo Tribe, and Albuquerque Public Schools, Nykki gained knowledge about federal and state school programs. Characteristics and qualities she gained from these programs are partnership, collaboration, adaptability, empathy, patience and many more. Creating a caring community of learners, teaching to support children’s development and learning, establishing relationships with families, and planning and adapting the curriculum to individual children’s learning styles are important to her in creating a love for lifelong learning. She is happy to share her skillsets with Piñon Tutoring and the families we serve.
In her spare time, Nykki loves to paint, travel, cook, and hike.
Kelly Dunn, MAPL
Contract Tutor, Spanish and Writing Expert
Kelly was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. At an early age he discovered his passion for language and writing and would later go on to study both Spanish language and Linguistics at the undergraduate level. It was here that he first began tutoring language and assisting with ongoing research into second language acquisition as well as language documentation at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. During this time, he also worked closely with the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland as a volunteer interpreter. Ultimately, these experiences would lead him to pursue further graduate study, focusing on the social aspects of language change and development.
Inspired by the linguistic and cultural diversity of the Southwest, Kelly moved to Albuquerque in 2018, where he completed his Master’s Degree in Linguistics at the University of New Mexico. While in the program, he had the opportunity to work as an instructor, teaching both beginning and advanced language levels in the department of Spanish and Portuguese. Looking to develop further as an educator, he also took on additional work as both a writing and language tutor and online learning assistant at the Center for Academic Program Support, receiving his tutor certification from the College Reading and Learning Association.
Having occupied a variety of roles within education, Kelly takes a holistic approach to language learning, placing equal emphasis on developing listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills. He recognizes the difficulties and challenges that learners face when exposed to a foreign language for the first time and believes that a structured approach guided by compassion and flexibility is key to success. In many ways, he views tutoring as an ideal opportunity to meet learners at their level and help them to both develop and apply their skills beyond the instructional setting.
In his spare time, Kelly enjoys cooking, gardening, reading, and caring for the fish he and his partner keep together.
Isaac Lipkowitz, M.Ed.
Contract Tutor, K-8 All Subjects Expert, Writing Expert
Isaac Lipkowitz grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The son of two English teachers, the importance and value of education was instilled in him from an early age. He attended Albuquerque Academy for middle and high school, where he excelled in a variety of subjects. During that time, he served as a teacher’s assistant for a variety of subjects, most notably serving as a teacher’s assistant and stage manager for Summer Musical Theater intensives for ages 11-18.
He attended Kenyon college for his Bachelor of the Arts in film, where he was valedictorian and received distinction for his senior exercise in film. He followed up the experience with a Masters in Education at Earlham College, where he specialized in Educational Media and Game Design. As an instructor, Isaac values individual differentiated learning informed by the individual learner's needs. He believes in focusing on developing lifelong learning skills and techniques and creating an environment where students feel comfortable asking questions and sharing their thoughts, ideas, and challenges. Isaac emphasizes learning as a collaborative process.
Isaac has a deep love for storytelling of all forms and is an avid board game enthusiast. He occasionally does stop-motion sand animation and recently had a novella he wrote adapted into a radio play by Fusion Theater company. Isaac spends his days reading and cooking for his family.
Alexander Morgan, B.S. Ed.
Contract Tutor, Math Expert
Alexander A. Morgan was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his parents Margaret and Roy, his older sister, Maria, and younger brother, Thomas. Alexander has had the privilege of growing up with an immigrant mother and a father who was a classic cowboy that instilled the ideas of hard work and the American dream. With a family of engineers, chemists, project managers for government programs, and teachers, Alexander was surrounded by a family willing to answer any question imaginable. This diverse upbringing taught Alexander the value of critical thinking, hard work, and education. He always enjoyed school through the public education system Albuquerque had to offer, but sought to provide the next generations with an education better than his own.
Alexander studied at the University of New Mexico. Alexander’s life goal was to make an impact on education in New Mexico. He thought education would be the key to shaping society to be a better place for everyone in the future. Alexander wanted to be a teacher ever since he started considering career options in high school and started lesson planning in high school.
Having taught 10 years in APS, Alexander has gained recognition from Governor Susana Martinez for exemplary standardized test improvements within his students. Creating a sense of self-worth, positive classroom environment, and lifelong learners are Alexander’s missions. Alexander is happy to share his skillset with Piñon Tutoring.
In his spare time, Alexander likes to read, do yard work, landscape, cook, study cryptocurrency, and be with his supporting wife of 3 years.
Iiris Rinne, M.Ed.
Contract Tutor, All Elementary Subjects Expert
Iiris Rinne was born in Helsinki, Finland. She has had a passion for teaching and working with children from an early age. At age 7 she was already teaching a weekly arts and crafts club for her little brother and his friends. At 13, she began coaching gymnastics, and has done so ever since. Her own background as a rhythmic gymnast has taught her the meaning of hard work and determination.
Later on, she obtained a Master's degree in elementary education, minoring in special education and physical education. She has taught 3rd and 4th grade in public schools for the past three years, and has worked as as a full time head coach of children's sports. She has worked with children of all ages her whole life in elementary schools, dance and gymnastics classes, daycares, summer camps, au pair, tutoring, as a personal assistant, among others! She likes teaching all the subjects and does her best to create meaningful, engaging, and effective learning experiences.
As a teacher, she values positive interaction, socio-emotional growth, literacy, physical activity, and helping children become their best selves. Seeing the student as a whole and treating them with respect and kindness means everything to her. Positive pedagogy and seeing the good in every student has worked well with her students in the past. She is liked among her students and their parents alike. Teaching is her way of making the world a better place.
Iiris moved to Albuquerque in 2021 to get married to her partner. They enjoy hiking around New Mexico with their puppy, Xerxes.
Amy Romero, M.B.A. Ed. Leadership
Contract Tutor, Math Expert
Amy K. Romero was born in California and raised in Belen, NM with her parents, two sisters, aunt and grandparents. She has always loved to read, work on puzzles and garden. Her thrill for puzzles or mysteries led to a deep love of mathematics after being inspired by two high school math teachers. During her last two years of secondary education, her outlook on the world was changed and she endeavored to learn as much as possible about mathematics and science. Her focus led to a fully paid college education at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology where she earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a minor in biology and an emphasis in statistics.
While in Socorro, New Mexico Amy discovered her deep love for working with children and teaching after tutoring and working as a Court Appointed Special Advocate. It was a particularly successful session of tutoring in College Algebra that led her to pursue education, when her tutee suggested she become a teacher. Shortly thereafter, as a recent college graduate, she began working at Belen High School as a math teacher.
After a break from teaching to grow her family and a stint at homeschooling, she went back to teaching in Albuquerque where she taught everything from 6th grade math to Calculus. During this time, the challenge of helping support students as they mastered difficult concepts became her focus. She went on to work as a mathematics specialist with grades K-8 and supported teachers and students while taking on other teaching or administrative roles as needed. Amy also received the competitive Woodrow Wilson Fellowship to fully fund her pursuit of an MBA in educational leadership at the University of New Mexico.
After 16 years in education in various roles Amy still believes that the individual connection created in a learning environment is foundational to helping students learn and become the best versions of themselves.